Tuesday, July 15, 2008

vertical farm

This story in today's NY Times about buildings as vertical farms is so great. Sky scrapers would rely solely on renewable energy like solar and wind, and could provide sustenance for thousands of people. Wall-e would be heartened, I'm sure, to imagine a city built of edible plants, instead of garbage. Take that, New Museum 'After Nature' exhibition. This seems like the ultimate manifestation of urban gardening - imagine reaching out the window of your office cubicle and plucking a fresh cucumber for lunch.

On a similar note, I'm looking forward to heading over to PS 1 to check out
PF 1 (public farm 1), an urban farm concept, complete with a chicken coop, that evokes the look of "a flying carpet landing in the PS 1 courtyard." PF 1 was the Young Architect Project's winning project this year, and is the design concept of husband and wife team WORK architecture

Friday, July 11, 2008

tomato love

Spent yesterday morning tending the garden my little brother and I planted at my dad's house
. The little tomato seedlings have grown dramatically in just a few weeks, and many of the lower branches are already beaded with small green tomatoes. It seems as though the tomatoes like to lay relatively low. We planted a good spread of heirlooms and hybrid varietals -- Sweet 100, Black Russian, Early Girl, Better Boy, the requisite Beefsteak. Although this is the third summer we have planted this garden, we are still decidedly amateur: as might seem obvious from these pictures, space limitations and gardening zeal resulted in the unfortunate (yet familiar) effect of overcrowding. The crooked, leafy arms of the plants had grown thoroughly entangled, and many slouched low to the ground, unable to support their own weight. The web of green emits an incredibly heady scent of tomato-y goodness, smelling more intensely like tomatoes than the fruit themselves. That said, it was a bit of a job to gingerly pry them apart and steady them upright with stakes and those neat metal basket contraptions. A few limbs were accidentally snapped and had to be unceremoniously cast aside. I nipped the rampant clover-like weed's from the bed, showered the freshly-secured plants with the watering can and finally secured them with fairly high security chicken-wire-esque fencing, necessary to ward off the wily local suburban rabbit population. A shadier bed across the way boasts thriving cucumber and melon plants, bountiful basil, parsley and chives, and some shriveled dill, which I can't quite figure out if it requires more water or sun...